Red Letter Christians » Commendable in an Age of Short Cuts: Kings, Presidents and Prophets
No matter what anyone says, economy is a heavily moral issue. It is not a side issue.
I read an article the other day that ignored the Bible, even though it was by a preacher. At one point the article said this:
[Homosexuality and abortion] are just two of examples of moral recession, and how it is a gradual slope downward that effects more than just the ones caught up in the sin. Unfortunately American voters, including Christians, tend to suppress these moral issues; focusing more on economic reform, international diplomacy, alternative energy, immigration, the war in Iraq and global warming. It is a problem that many Christians are driven by their pocketbooks rather than their faith. That is why they say, “Give me a better economy.” “Give me healthcare.” “Give me help with my loans.” When what should take priority is, “Give me a morally sound country in which to raise my children.” “Stop blurring the line between right and wrong.” “Stop ignoring God and stop promoting unrighteousness.”
Firstly, we must address this notion of morality as only a matter of issues regarding sexuality. You will find it nowhere in the Bible, not to mention any other text held sacred to any major religion. So we must dismiss it immediately if we are Christian.
Secondly, morality generally refers to the system of guided conduct that we adhere to and expect from others. Therefore, all decisions we make that affect ourselves and others are of a moral nature. If we have a financial recession, and we cannot prove that it was caused by circumstances we could not foresee in, say, natural disasters for instance, then the financial recession is itself a moral recession.
Thirdly, we cannot prove that a “moral recession” (as in one only in the morals of sexuality) causes other recessions. One cannot say that if we “take care of the morality stuff” (meaning sexuality) that “everything else will fall into place.” You will find no such precedent in scripture.
Fourthly, we cannot assume that, for example, sexual morality is being “repressed” just because we are beginning to gain wisdom enough to consider other moral issues. Some have done this, but unless we can prove this is exhaustively the case among Christians, we are spending empty breath.
Fifthly, economy, diplomacy, resource management, immigration, war and creation care are all moral issues. In fact, even in scripture they are moral issues. Scripture does not tell us that these are of somehow less importance than sexuality. In fact, all these things are tied together. The Bible says quite a heaping full about money and honest weights and measures, and defending the cause of the poor. It says a lot about how we treat everyone (including sojourners and enemies), about how empires work and how the church should not be like them, about how God created the earth and we should keep it, and about how we should live like the Prince of Peace and be peacemakers. Of course, it also says things about sexuality and life. All these things are moral to God. No man will ever produce a sound argument against what I have just stated.
Sixthly, Christians voting for these alleged “side” or “not as important” “non-moral” issue are not all doing so with their wallets. Also, Christians who tend to vote more on sexual and related issues can also be accused of voting with their wallets, as many are voting to preserve aspects of capitalism that protect their wealth.
Seventhly, when we say “Give me a morally sound country in which to raise my children,” we should be thinking of a country that does not behave like an empire, one that keeps God’s creation, doesn’t cheat the poor, loves enemies and travelers and those different and foreign, one that believes in Grace and amnesty, one that does not live by the sword, as well as one that respects healthy family relationships and advocates for the life of those who have no voice (like the unborn). When we say, “stop blurring the line between right and wrong,” we should mean blurring the line about every moral thing in the universe, not just our favorites. When we say, “Stop ignoring God and stop promoting unrighteousness,” we better be talking more about sexuality, abortion, and whether God’s name is mentioned in public documents and statements.
Even as a Christian you may disagree about how the money should be handled, about how to best help the poor and by what means, about how to treat resources and how scientific evidence attests to the effects of how we treat God’s creation, about how to deal with lawbreakers of all kinds, about how to exercise diplomacy to others friendly and unfriendly, about a number of things. But you cannot call them “small” issues to discuss. It’s not your call. God already called it. If you are a Christian, you have to consider them all if you choose to exercise your “rights and duties” in a public, civic sphere.
I have heard many say that we should focus on “moral” issues instead of issues which they name that the scriptures certainly speak for God caring about. They have no right to speak in such a way. Do not allow them without rebuke. It’s not their call. Don’t let them get away with it.
Excellent points. Sometime I want to study the mechanisms that God uses to judge immoral nations. It makes sense to me that his judgment would be in the form of the natural consequences of deviating from his perfect design for how mankind functions. If a society in general rejects his design for how the family ought to function, destruction will come in the form of chaotic, broken relationships that are void of any semblance of peace. If a state is violent towards outsiders and foreign nations, there will be violent destruction and conquest by others (blowback, terrorism, foreign invasion). If a state rejects honest money for inflation, the money will naturally self-destruct. If a state builds its economy on greed or misplaced philanthropy by stealing from one group to give to another, it will naturally crumble in due time. Each of these consequences can be predicted by those who understand natural law, economics, cause and effect, etc, even without a moral reasoning behind the analysis. But my understanding of most of the writings in the prophets regarding the judgment of nations is that their punishments were purposed by God for their evil, but not supernatural. Unfortunately, America has been failing in most moral “Categories” (that you just proved are in fact one category).